Beaucoup de Soupes
du jour

at the Madison Hotel
15th & M Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Charleston She Crab Soup
Chef James Clark of Palette Restaurant – Washington, DC
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 10 Servings

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 head celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sherry, plus additional for garnish
  • ¼ pound crab roe
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 quart shellfish stock
  • ½ gallon milk
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Crystal hot sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons ground mace
  • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat
  • Salt and pepper


In a medium, heavy-bottom sauce pot, heat olive oil and sweat onions, garlic and celery, cooking until translucent. When vegetables are soft deglaze the pan with the sherry, add the crab roe, bay leaf, and shellfish stock, and bring to a slow simmer for 15 minutes. Add the milk and simmer for another 15 minutes. Next add the rice while soup is at a slow simmer and cook the rice until it is soft. When the rice has softened add the hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and mace. Remove bay leaf and puree mixture in blender or with a small hand-held immersion blender. When soup is smooth and thick, strain it through a fine sieve or china cap. Add in the crabmeat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with additional sherry, some crumbled crab roe and more lump crab.

Chef’s Note:
Make sure you use high-quality crabmeat. Cheap special meat or lump is hardly worth the effort of taking out of the shells – it will be mushy. Also, crab roe can be salty, so use sparingly. It will keep well in the freezer in a tightly sealed bag.

Wine Pairing:
A dry Amontillado Sherry such as the Emilio Lustau “Los Arco” Dry Amantillado Sherry

   Published: January 2005